Voices from the Field

Theo Chocolate

It’s the International Year of Cooperatives and to celebrate, food co-ops across the country have partnered with Theo Chocolate to create two decadent, limited-edition chocolate bars: a smooth and rich 85% ultimate dark chocolate and a rich and creamy 45% milk chocolate.

These scrumptious confections are organic, fair trade certified, and make delicious gifts—for yourself or others. Your purchase helps support cocoa farmers by ensuring living wages, promotes the health of our planet through organic growing practices, and creates artisan food manufacturing jobs in the U.S. And 50¢ of your purchase goes directly to support the cooperatives that provide the cacao for our bars: Fortaleza del Valle in Ecuador, and CEPICAFE in Peru. Co-ops aim to raise more than $40K for the cacao growers by the end of 2012. It’s just another way that food co-ops and our shoppers and owners are helping to build a better world!

Hurry in before they’re gone. Happy International Year of Cooperatives!

About Fortaleza del Valle

Fortaleza del Valle specializes in producing high quality Nacional cacao, a varietal known for its floral notes and clean finish. Established in 2005 to help small scale cocoa farmers organize and increase their production capacity, Fortaleza has helped farmers increase their incomes and improve their quality of life through centralized bean fermenting and drying, providing access to premium cocoa markets, credit and training on best farming practices and land rehabilitation.

About CEPICAFE

CEPICAFE cooperative works with approximately 500 farmers in the Piura and Amazonas regions of Peru. The farmers there are organized into small regional groups of 30-40 members that have centralized the fermenting and drying of their cocoa beans, bringing greater consistency and quality to their product. CEPICAFE focuses on educating producer members to ensure they understand the world market and the way in which their product fits into the international cocoa supply chain. This education is uncommon and extremely valuable for farmers. When cocoa farmers know how cocoa is graded and purchased globally, it’s an important step towards their understanding of how to produce higher quality beans, with increased market value, that will ultimately deliver greater returns on their hard work and dedication to the land they steward.

Photos courtesy of Theo Chocolate

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